June 10 is Almost Here

No, no, it's not my birthday, or anniversary, or a new national holiday.  But it will be a holiday of sorts for me.  I am off to Shakerag in Sewanee, TN for a 5 day workshop with Nancy Crow.   This is something I have wanted to do for years and at last, the time is about to arrive.  I've been dyeing and buying solid fabrics for months.  It seems that I will never have enough of the right values and colors, but perhaps I am likely a bit OCD on that issue, as my friends have hinted.  On the other hand, as Nancy says, you can never have enough fabrics.  Or is that what I say?  What about you?  Can you ever have enough of the perfect shade, tint, hue, color, solids,prints, plaids, stripes? So, thus far I have 7 plastic tubs of fabric.  Here's a couple of the tubs:

That doesn't include the high contrast print/stripe/plaid/dot fabrics.  Or the 4 yards of white and 4 yards of black.  That is in tub 8.  And mind you these are substantial tubs.  I won't release the plastic tub measurements, because then everyone will know that I am, indeed, OCD.  

I've made many improvisational quilts in the past, using a multitude of prints as well as some small projects using solids - as with pillows.  But can I do a beautiful composition on a large scale?  Scary scary scary.  In readying myself for this experience, I have been playing around with solids, just to see if I can remember how to start from scratch, without a pattern. Using mostly shot cottons, I began cutting and sewing.
Sketch One  11 x 14

Sketch Two  11 x 17
Okay, I started from scratch, but these are little ones.  Sketches a la Gwen Marston.  And there are no parameters, no rules except that all fabric must be solids.  Jump in and go for it.  Abstract. What is abstract and what does it really mean? 

Ah, well.  So, meanwhile, I have been multitasking in my studio I must admit.  But then, who doesn't these days?  I am quilting, still, on the dogwood quilt.  All the while thinking of abstract design.  Pictures coming soon.

I completed the Friends Shirts Quilt.  Footloose, no rules, no matchy-matchy points, all fancy free piecing. Perfect for practicing some traditional machine quilting with feathers and all that stuff.   All washed up and cuddly.  It will be my blanket of choice for my week on Monteagle Mountain.  Taking my friends along, as it were.

I also began working on my homework assignment # 5 from Lorraine Torrence's book, Fearless Design for Every Quilter.   The assignment, if I choose to accept it, (sorry) design a simple, well balanced composition as a line drawing and interpret the composition in 8 color schemes.  

"turn a blind eye and a deaf ear" achromatic

"turn a blind eye and a deaf ear" monochromatic
Only 6 more color combinations to go.  

Lorraine's homework projects have been much more challenging that I had thought they would be.  I discovered that I do not like being forced to follow the rules. Rules are so limiting.  But then, momma always said there was a reason for them.  To make you stretch and learn.  Yet, my secret self has been revealed.  Deep down, I honestly do not like much structure in most things. I have spent my life trying to conform, fit the mold, and follow the rules. At age ## I am so OVER IT. Rules are good for some things, but not so good for other things.  Ya think?

What is that going to do to me at the upcoming workshop?  Okay, so I must remember the reason I wanted to take this workshop with Nancy. Following her guidelines and be disciplined, because I want to learn more about art, composition, to stretch myself as much as possible, to dig deeper and find out more about myself.  Wish me luck.